Union Bank, one of the largest banks in the Philippines, is reportedly launching cryptocurrency trading and custody services. “It’s a way of future-proofing our banking business,” said a Union Bank executive.
Union Bank of the Philippines to Offer Crypto Trading and Custody Services
Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP) plans to offer cryptocurrency trading and custody services, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Unionbank is one of the largest universal banks in the Philippines with assets under management (AUM) of over US$15 billion. The bank was one of the first financial institutions in the Philippines to adopt cryptocurrencies.
Cathy Casas, head of the bank’s blockchain and application programming interface group, explained that Filipino investors currently hold an average of about 1% to 2% of their personal assets in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. She added that if the market “stabilizes”, investors will hold between 3% and 5% over five years.
Union Bank executives estimate that about 5 percent of the local population is involved in cryptocurrencies. She added that many crypto investors are young people, some of whom earn tokens by playing games.
It’s a way of future-proofing our banking business.
On Thursday, Metaco, a provider of security software and infrastructure for the digital asset ecosystem, announced that Unionbank is implementing its digital asset management services. Metaco added that Unionbank is deploying services on IBM Cloud.
Bank first announced Pilot A crypto custodial service last August, which noted at the time that crypto assets are here to stay. Casas noted that the bank’s digital asset custody services will include tokenized bonds.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, has warned against investing in cryptocurrencies. The central bank warned that cryptocurrencies could “pose a threat to the financial system,” citing their vulnerability to illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing.
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Unionbank is one of the licensed cryptocurrency exchanges Approved by the Central Bank. The bank launched its own stablecoin PHX in 2019 to make payments and remittances more accessible to rural banks in its network.
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